Marysville, WA – The mother of a four-year-old boy told police that two people pretending to be Child Protective Services (CPS) agents tried to steal her child.
The incident occurred at about 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 19 when a professionally-dressed man and woman knocked on the door of Jessi McCombs’ apartment on State Avenue near 120th Street, KIRO reported.
McCombs said the woman told her that she was there to investigate her son’s injuries and take him into protective custody, KPTV reported.
She said that initially, she thought the CPS workers had knocked on the wrong door.
"Thought for sure she had the wrong house until she told me his name and birthday," McCombs told KIRO. "I asked her, ‘Can you show me some identification? Can you show me this order that you supposedly have?' She refused to show me that."
She said she picked up the telephone and pretended to call 911 to report what was going on and the fake CPS agents rushed to leave, telling McCombs that they would be back, KPTV reported.
"These people were potentially trying to just snatch my kid, so I started panicking," McCombs said. "She said, ‘We'll come back later,' and they left in a hurry down the stairs."
"Adrenaline just pretty much took over," she told KIRO. "I wanted to get my son somewhere safe."
McCombs said that from her window, she saw the man and woman drive away in a black Ford Crown Victoria but she could not see the license plate number.
After the imposters left, McCombs took her son to daycare and went to work without reporting the incident to police, KCPQ reported.
But when she got home from work, a neighbor told her that they saw strangers driving around the apartment complex later in the day in what looked like an old police car.
The Marysville Police Department said McCombs filed a police report about the incident the day after it happened, KCPQ reported.
Marysville police told KIRO are they are investigating the incident and that it was the only report of bogus CPS workers in the area that they had received.
They said the mother had given them both oral and written statements about what happened.
"At this time we have noted several inconsistencies in those statements, and have been unable to verify other information," Marysville Police Commander Mark Thomas said in an email to KIRO.
But the police also offered words of wisdom for keeping children safe inside the home.
"Before allowing any unknown individual into your home, it's always a good idea to check for photo identification,” Commander Thomas wrote. “If in doubt call the office of who they are saying they represent and ask for confirmation. If your still not satisfied call 911 or the non-emergency number and ask for an officer to come out and check credentials."
CPS does not having any open cases involving the McCombs, according to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, KIRO reported.
The agency also advised in a written statement the procedures that would be followed by real CPS agents.
"In situations where a child must be removed from their home, DCYF staff are accompanied by law enforcement. DCYF staff always carry agency identification and cannot remove a child from their home without a court order signed by a judge or by law enforcement taking a child into custody per RCW 26.44.050,” the agency said.
The mother said she had no idea why anyone would pose as CPS workers to try and steal her son, KIRO reported.